Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs Serving Watauga County
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs serving Watauga County
What is a CSA?
Making a living wage as a small farmer can be challenging. Fortunately, community members can take action to help support local farms. One business model that has recently become very popular, CSA programs, involve eaters becoming shareholders. Shareholders pay for a share of the harvest at the beginning of the growing season, which enables growers to purchase seed and start production without having to take out a loan. Then for around 20 weeks, you receive freshly harvested, seasonal produce, and the challenge of cooking and consuming all of it. Many growers help out by providing recipes along with the abundance.
While there is certainly a shared risk in paying for food that has not even been grown yet, most farmers are hard-working and honest, doing everything possible to produce a variety of safe, healthy, high quality food. Tasty varieties may be grown that are typically not offered in grocery stores. Additionally, getting to know the family who grows your food can be a meaningful experience.
Shopping at a farmers’ market is also a great way to support local growers. But if you find the timing or location inconvenient, joining a CSA may be a better way to get your nutrition through ultra-fresh, locally grown food.
Here is a list of the local programs that I am aware of for 2017.
Against the Grain Farm
A CSA membership with Against the Grain is $500 and includes 20 deliveries throughout the season. May pick up in Boone at Horn in the West or at the Zionville farm. The produce is organically and biodynamically raised, utilizing heirloom and open pollinated varieties. Meat add on options are available, and they also offer a meat CSA, with several options to choose from. You may sign up any month of the year for the meat CSA. Sign up now for the vegetable CSA on the website. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.atgfarm.com/, Holly Whiteside and Andy Bryant.
Lasts for 20 weeks, beginning in early June, with several pick up options. You may choose Tuesdays from 4:30 – 6:30 at the Agricultural Conference Center loading dock or at the farm in Creston, the Watauga farmers’ market on Saturdays, or Wednesday afternoons between 4:30 and 6:30 at the Ashe County Farmers’ Market in West Jefferson.
Pay a 50% deposit as soon as possible to reserve a space, with the total cost due by May 1st.
Full shares cost $500.00 and receive $25.00 worth of food each week.
Half shares cost $300.00 and receive $15.00 worth of food each week.
Vegetarian shares are available. On weeks when beef and/or eggs are included, vegetarian shares will get more produce to make up the difference in cost. Participants are allowed a one week vacation credit for produce at the farmers’ market.
Full Moon Farm
A full share costs $400 and will contain a larger box of fruits and vegetables. A half share costs $220 and is a medium box. Season runs May 1 – October 1st, with the location and day of pick up to be determined. Sign up and pay on-line at http://fullmoonfarmnc.weebly.com/csa–bulk-produce-program.html
High Country CSA
A multi-farm CSA that runs from May 31 – October 25 (22 weeks). Three different share options are offered for the full season:
The regular share is perfect for 2-4 people. This is the perfect option for a family, shared house or apartment, group of friends, etc. Cost: $560, or about $25/week.
The small share is perfect for 1-2 people or a larger family that eats out often. Cost: $400, or about $18/week.
The staple share is the size of a regular share but will include more of the “staple” vegetables: potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. This is a great option for those who prefer consistency over variety! Cost: $410 for the season or about $20/week.
A fall share will be offered from August 16 – October 25 (11 weeks) for those who are out of town during the summer.
Several add on options are available to members who choose Boone Food Hub as their pick-up location, such as eggs, goat cheese, granola, honey, flowers and meat.
A cost share program is available for low resource families, and they are willing to arrange payment plans. Pick-ups are on Wednesday from noon until 6 pm at 9 different locations. Sign up on website. https://highcountrycsa.com/, email@example.com.
Lively Up Farm
Delivery will be at the Watauga County farmers’ market, with delivery possible, lasting for 20 weeks. Full shares cost $500 and a $300 share is also available.
Matt Cooper, firstname.lastname@example.org, 828-773-5893
New Life Farm
Begins on Tuesday, May 16th through Tuesday, September 26th, lasting a total of 20 weeks. $500 for a full share and $350 for a half share. Pick up time will be from 4:30 to 5:15 each Tuesday in both Boone and Lenoir. Locations to be determined based on members input. Also picking up at farm between Boone and Lenoir after 5 PM is an option. May sign up by accessing website: http://www.newlifefarmnc.com/ Cory Byrk, 719.0853
Certified organic and in good agricultural practices offering a half share for $360, and a full share for $510.
You may choose to pick up at the Watauga County farmers’ market or on Tuesdays at the farm in Vilas between 12 and 6. Email: email@example.com Sign-up form located on website, to be sent in with payment. http://www.springhousefarm.net/
Available beginning May 25, weekly, through October 7 for 20 weeks. Full Share cost is $500.
Deposit of $100 due at the time of registration, balance due by May 1. Delivering in Boone and Blowing Rock, date TBA. Each share will contain 5 to 7 items, at least a $25 value each week. Any bumper crops will be shared across each box delivery as well!
During the season, Produce Pickup subscribers pay $20/week for a box of farm fresh produce delivered to Boone on Sundays from 4 – 5, or picked up at the farm from May-October. Until April 15th, they are offering a pre-sale for dedicated customers that want to purchase a season’s worth of produce in advance, and in exchange, receive a discount! Pre-season subscribers are charged at a rate of $15/week and receive a Waxwing Farm t-shirt as a gift.
A season commitment is $390 (26 weeks). To make the pre-season sale more accessible, they automatically break up the total into 3 payments of $130, charged automatically to your card at sign-up, and for the 2 subsequent months. Add-ons may be purchased throughout the season to be included with the produce pickup, including fresh eggs (chicken or duck), pasture raised whole chicken/duck, and flower bouquets. Sign up for CSA on-line, http://www.waxwing.farm/product/produce-pickup-pre-season-sale/
Wild Pilgrim Homestead
The CSA box includes a great variety. No up-front payment is required, and you can place orders weekly as you need them. $25 per week, delivery to Boone. Bonnie or Jason Lewis, (828) 455-7808, firstname.lastname@example.org http://facebook.com//wildpilgrimfarms
Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. email@example.com (828)264-3061